I just finished reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I figured if two different people recommend the book to me (and by two people, I mean these two people probably have no business knowing one other, being one was from SC and one was from Boston), then perhaps I should read it. I'm glad I did, and I understand why it was a bestseller, #1 at that. It was not a fun book to read, a nice fluffy book to read. It was a sad, melancholy book--written in the first person no less. There is rape, murder, suicide, betrayal, despair, hopelessness . . . and yet so simplistically human that one cannot help but to appreciate it. There were no fluffy words, overly-complex sentences that take away from the narrative. This was Mr. Hosseini's debut novel, and it was a fantastic one. It's not a romance, and I'll be honest and say I don't generally read non-romance books, but at the heart of it there is the desire for love, compassion, forgiveness. The reader takes a look in a place few people will ever visit, nor will they have the desire to visit, especially American readers. He humanized that demonized country of Afghanistan, and yet Mr. Hosseini's story of redemption isn't new. In fact, it is one of the oldest stories any human can tell. The ending wasn't neatly wrapped up with a bright bow on the top, but it was open-ended, allowing the reader to see the horizon of hope just as the protagonist does. The simple storytelling, and by simple I mean unobtrusive, is what I appreciated the most as a writer. No need to revolutionize the English language to write a compelling book after all. Straightforward writing, love it.
Anyway, I encourage folks to read it (because bestseller or not, one can never have too many readers of a book apparently :) ) and I'll check out Hosseini's latest book A Thousand Splendid Suns.